The Ethics of Sharing: Privacy, Data, and Common Goods

Paper by Sille Obelitz Søe & Jens-Erik Mai: “Given the concerns about big tech’s hoarding of data, creation of profiles, mining of data, and extrapolation of new knowledge from their data warehouses, there is a need and interest in devising policies and regulations that better shape big tech’s influence on people and their lives. One such proposal is to create data commons. In this paper, we examine the idea of data commons as well as the concept of sharing in relation to the concept of personal data. We argue that personal data are different in nature from the objects of classical commons wherefore the logic of “sharing is caring” is flawed. We, therefore, develop an ethics of sharing taking privacy into account as well as the idea that sometimes the right thing to do is not sharing. This ethics of sharing is based in a proposal to conceptualize data commons as MacIntyrean practices and Wittgensteinian forms of life…(More)”.